Thursday, June 30, 2011

Social Media Meet at Subway, Numgambakkam

The Social Media Day was a meeting of the disruptive tribe at Subway, Nungambakkam, Chennai. I could see that young professionals had taken to social media very seriously and energy of these folks was awesome. Many were doing SMM projects and some were into training as well. Small conversations ranged from Google +1 to online training to lead generation.

Thanks Preetham Venkky for initiating this meet. And hope to meet some of you over lunch soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Free Short Motivational Quotes of the Day

Short Quotations to make your life inspiring and positive with full of energy every day.

If you cannot make a change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.
Maya Angelou

You can’t hire someone else to do your push-ups for you.
Jim Rohn

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.
Napoleon Hill

There comes a time when you have to drop your burdens in order to fight for yourself and your dreams.
Les Brown

Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

It s time to start living the life you have imagined.
Henry James

Have a positive attitude and spread it around never let yourself be a victim and for goodness sake have fun.
Jack Welch

You are the same today as you’ll be in next five years except for two things, the books you read and the people you meet.
Charlie Jones

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Work-at-Home Mom’s Lessons in Rising Early

A work-at-home mom reveals how rising early changes her life giving more time to do things she was passionate about.

My daughters’ school starts at 8.30 am we all wake up by 7 am on weekdays and on weekends it is 8.30 am. So you see we were not early risers. But all that changed one day - she wanted to get up early for her exams.

So she asked my father-in-law, during a recent visit, to wake her up who is up by 5 am in the morning. He is 74 and has been waking up early, when birds chirp, the last 60 years or so. My father-in-law is an inspiration for all of us.

He finishes his exercise, makes his own cup of tea, reads books and waits for his morning newspapers. (He reads a whole lot). When we are out of our bedroom his, “Good Morning” refreshes us and inspires us to look forward to the day with great enthusiasm.

The next day my father-in-law woke up my daughter for her exams, and as I wanted to give her a boost (mother’s contribution), I too woke up.

Because of my early rising I was able to give valuable tips to my daughter for writing her exams, and finish my daily chores by 10 am, and had lot of spare time, which allowed me to complete all my pending work. (Blogging, completing tax returns, filing, banks…).

I felt energetic, seeing the red sun; usually I couldn’t see the sun,
That day was my D –day, the deciding day when I thought that one early day could give so many benefits, and then imagine if I woke up early my entire life …

So hold my hand and come with me and I will let you know how I did it.

(Followed my father-in-law footsteps. surprised!)
As I had already decided on a goal, why take an unknown path, instead follow the guru.
1. Write down the things you need to do the next day, and see to it that everything needed to help you me do the things were right there.

My example: veg and fruits for breakfast, packing lunch, allocating specific time for work (I work from home) going to the market, taking my little one to dance class.

2. Set the alarm. And tell your brain that you have to get up at this time orally, I mean speak loudly before going to bed that you have to wake up at 6 am or whatever time suits you. Believe me; your mind also acts like an alarm.

3. Go to sleep with a pleasant activity: like playing with your little ones, reading a book for them, listening to music, I use to read, as reading is my hobby. I personally feel that reading gives knowledge. Knowledge is like water, to keep it pure it has to be running.

4. As I said earlier, either your brain or your alarm will wake you up. Get up; think about the positive approach you have taken in life, pat yourself for doing it.

5. After refreshing yourself have a glass of water, do simple exercise, yoga or meditation and get going.
Important: if for some reason your sleep has been disturbed, do not take it as an excuse to get up late the next day. Your body will take care of it and when needed will indicate you to hit the bed early. Get up at the fixed time, and reap the benefits.

I would like to share my benefits with you:

1. One with nature: i go to my terrace to meditate, and therefore see the sun changing its light from red to yellow. I feel that I too like the birds, trees, flowers, river, mountains is enjoying this marvelous sight.

2. No stress: this is too good a feeling. Now when I drop my kid to school, there is no rush, no searching for lunch boxes, water bottle, no yelling. Everything so perfect, I feel that I have a head start.

3. Head start: when I return home, and start my work, I am able to meet my deadline comfortably as I start early.

4. Organized life : the extra time available allows me to do things which I normally avoid like arranging the wardrobe etc

Benefits: After a few days you will notice how organized your life is. And that you have ample time to follow your passions.

Friday, June 24, 2011

SEO Friendly Navigation Tips for bloggers

Good navigation on your blog helps users to quickly find information they want. That’s a fundamental principle of success for bloggers.

The blog title should reflect the theme of your blog clearly. This title is visible to users on the reverse bar of the browser. Users quickly connect to the theme or navigate away from your blog. So write a clear title with four or five words that reflect the content of your blog.

Tip: Search engines drop most visitors on your home page, so get your categories, most popular and archives or the tag cloud up there. You start getting more traffic to inner pages after substantial content has been posted and promoted.

Categorize your posts clearly
Many bloggers don’t know how to lead their users to the rich content they have published on their blog. Visitors are most certainly searching for something when they land up on your site. Categories are what point to the stuff you have for them. They also enable users to go through additional information on the subject of interest. While categorizing use words that are instantly recognizable.

Example: If you run a gifts blog, your categories would probably be: Anniversary, Wedding, Valentines, Christmas, Men, Women, Birthday etc.

This categorization enables users to quickly open the one they are looking for and read the content. It also tells searchers about the other relevant content you have on your blog.

Social Media Links
The social media buttons for sharing, “About Me”, RSS feeds, subscription to newsletter, social bookmarks and search bar must be available at a visible location on the blog home.

Text links on your home page
Use clear text links since users and search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing understand them well. Flash and fancy images don’t convey your content very well to the crawlers.

Use simple layouts
The blog design also determines how people see your content. Keep it simple and easily navigable. Let visitors get the information they seek in 5 seconds. Throwing complex designs, dark colours, falsh or images that don’t mean much is sheer waste of your prime real estate.

Navigation bars for showcasing content
Use the right or left navigation bar that blogging platforms like typepad, blogger, wordpress, etc provide. This bar can have all your categories in the order of importance for the visitor – categories, tag clouds, recent posts, popular posts, archives, about me etc.

Make it easy for readers to find the content they want and success is yours.

Monday, June 20, 2011

4 Ways to Overcome Fear of Failure

Fear of failure can lead to incompetence, procrastination and loss of confidence. But an ability to face it and learn new skills and develop new capabilities can effectively handle this fear. Read the ways celebrities manage their fears successfully.

Ways to handle fear

Recognise Fears
All great leaders and athletes raise their level of awareness about fears and failures. If one doesn't understand the presence of fear then it's difficult to manage. Be aware when the fear crops up, notice your reactions, see your emotions and bodily reactions and you'll soon make a choice to manage it one way or another. But not being aware could no chance to overcome it. Michael Jordan, the iconic basketball player once said, “There was never any fear for me, no fear of failure. If I miss a shot, so what?” He was able to recognize his fears and acknowledge them as something normal and not to be worried about. Hours and hours of practice to shoot despite failures to basket, is how he did it. Fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me, explained Michael Jordan, when asked how he overcomes fears of failure.

Accept and Face Failure
This is the first step to overcoming the fear of failure. Remember, everyone fails Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, all failed several times. But they overcame it several ways. The first being playing back their lost matches over and over again till it numbs them and their mind no longer reacts emotionally to the failure. But essentially, their coaches make players understand that they have to accept failures by meeting them squarely in the eye.

Great leaders have no fear of failure and this emboldens them in the pursuit of success. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg prepares for a fight with failure by standing by the courage of his convictions whether it’s about improving city schools, the high crime rate of better infrastructure facilities. He did that successfully by holding himself accountable for all his actions.

Getting back at failure
Another way to handle fear is to fail several times until you begin to taste success. Several years ago I went on a corporate outbound program and one of the activities was rappelling. It means one had to climb down a huge rock facing the rock. When our group went there, on seeing the rock there was a sense of nervousness in the air. Many were not willing to try it. I volunteered to go early and climbed the rock from behind. On reaching the top, I could sense fear when I looked over. But I conquered by saying I'm going to do it and take fear head on. And I told myself to accept the fear and enjoy the activity. The outcome was that I enjoyed rappelling.

Confront the Fears
If you choose to face the fears and understand why it happens, you are bound to succeed. A sports person who fails at crunch time when he's expected to deliver, may actually be playing back the past occurrence of a failure. The only way, athletes and others like can overcome this failure is to look at past failures closely and go through the bad feelings AGAIN and AGAIN. They play the tapes from the past matches and sit through it multiple times and relive the moments. That way there's nothing more to be ashamed of the failure or fear the next failure. You become prepared to face failure and then SUCCESS will soon follow.

Jack Welch the celebrated business leader and CEO of General Electric Company also faced fears in his life. Unbelievably, he was once afraid of the internet since he could not type. Often he was confronted by tough situations in his corporate career, he managed that by putting people first, empowering them and taking risks. “Willingness to change is strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while,” he said of a strategy to mange uncertainty and fear of new ideas.

What is Fear
Fear could be described as a feeling of unpleasantness, and it may or may not be accompanied by external bodily reactions like a racing pulse, flushed face or in rare cases frozen activity, especially when seized by fear. Our stomach churns our muscles become taut and our throats are stuffed with cotton. These are common, universal and there are several ways to manage and control them.
Why do You Fear Failures

Uncertainty about the future
Often there’s a feeling of uncertainty about the future that results in a crippling of thought. This could be fueled by past failure, things not working your way, inability to manage finances or personal issues, loss of confidence to turn around a bad period etc.

Sometimes people feel inadequately equipped to deal with emotions during a broken relationship, feel a sense of loss when new challenges are thrown at work, and struggle to deal with new situations with calmness. These fears of failure arise out of incompetence. The more the fear of failure the higher the rate of procrastination.

Matter of perception
Often it’s just a matter of perception of events, people and things that bring about the fear of failure. Do we focus on our past failures and drag us current attempts to failure. Or choose to focus on our successes and feel capable to succeed in the current endeavor. When a pebble is held away from our eye, it looks small. The same pebble when brought very close to the eye seems to cover the whole world and make you blind. It’s just how you see it.

Some common fears
Fear of Rejection
When we experience a few rejections, there begins to form a pattern in our weak minds that we're destined to failure in that particular activity how many ever times we try it. It could be being rejected by girls to date, writers articles being rejected by newspaper editors, children not being approved by parents..

This is again a sense of unpleasantness that overcomes a person. People tend to break into sweat, tremble, experience stomach churns, racy heart and tend to sometimes avoid the event. It may be related to past events like bullying at school, bad teens, broken relationships. These breed a sense of incompetence while dealing with similar situations in future.

Fear of specific events or objects can often cause uncontrollable reaction and lead to panic. This fear results in externalized body reactions.

What Happens if Fears are not Handled Properly
If you don’t seize fear by its tail and manage it well, you could become incompetent in the long run due to repeated inaction; you could begin to procrastinate doing important things due to fear of failure; your future becomes uncertain and your confidence could spiral downwards.

Rajasekar Raju KS

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Lost Son Motivational Buddha Story

Short motivational story by Buddha that talks about why people should not cling on to things because they prevent you from accepting reality.

The Buddha once narrated a short story from his previous birth.

There lived a rich businessman who loved his only son so much that he always stayed with him. Even on his business trips, he never stayed overnight. He longed to be with his child.

One day he happened to return a little late in the evening. To his shock he saw his house burnt and villagers had gathered around his home.

“What happened?” asked he.

“The bandits broke into many houses and after taking the valuables, they set fire to the village,” said an old lady.

Grieving and walking around the house, he found a corpse and mistaking it for his son wept till his shirt was wet. He organized a pyre and performed the last rites of his son.

A little after midnight, the son who was taken away by the bandits, escaped from their hideout and reached his home.

“Daddy, open the door,” he cried by the window, in the pale moonlight.

The businessman thinking that he was dreaming of his dead son said, “Go away.” And later went back to sleep, grieving.

The boy left after some time. And the two never met again.

“Sometimes we cling to something we think is the truth and when the real moment of truth arrives, we don’t believe it,” said the Buddha concluding the story.

Notes: We often live in our own world of make believe, refusing to see the reality. If only we could suspend our beliefs and see things as they are, we’d be a lot better. Many a time in life, we refuse to face the truth. We become blind. We must clean up our minds as we would clean a window. Only then can we see the truth clearly.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

10 Reasons Why Google Hates Frequent Changes on Your Blog

In my experience working with new as well as established sites and blogs, I have found that making too many changes in a short span of time can affect the traffic to that page. The page gets pushed down from Google Search results and at times, even banished. Albeit for a few months.

I’m not talking about frequent content updations to your page or site. I’m talking about frequent changes in titles, keywords, descriptions, changing of copy, changing of other links on page, html changes, addition or deletion of copy, frequent optimizing of copy or on-page factors.

How can we avoid being penalized, in case we need to do a lot of changes on a page?
The wisest way is to do all the changes at the backend and then take it online in one shot. Many keep publishing the changes online after every change and it spells serious trouble.

Tip: Imagine if a store were to keep changing its products/ services every second day. Customers would turn a little wary and wonder what the store is up to. Traffic is most likely to fall when a store does many changes in a short period of time.

Whether you are changing the title, keywords, description, adding more content, adding links or introducing new services, please do all of them at the back end and then make it online. I find many bloggers keep changing their tags, titles and keywords as often as once a week. Often it has resulted in a fall in traffic for those pages and at times loss of page rank.

And to regain the page rank and traffic takes up a lot of time and effort. Because search engines tend to place you under a scanner and understand what you’re trying to do. Whether you are doing something unethical or trying to play with their algorithm.

Tip: Why search engines look suspiciously at large scale or frequent changes to a web page? Would you not suspect your neighbour of something unethical if you found scores of cars driving in and out from his home Monday to Friday? Most certainly you would.

Search engines look at unusual and frequent changes to a web page or site much the same way. So, you must always plan what you’d like to do, weigh its implications, and execute changes in one phase. Unless your website has hundreds of pages and you may want to do the changes in two or three phases, studying the effect of each change on your rankings and traffic.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two Word Motivational Quotes

Short motivating two word quotations that pack a punch. 20 of them that can be put up as posters or tattoos.

Know Thyself

Think Big

Think Positive

Face Truth

Live Happily

Dream Big

Why Not?

Trust People

Set Goals

Take Action

Try Again

Do Impossible

Muster Courage

Play Fair

Stay Ahead

Rock On

Don’t Lie

Be Forgiving

Never Complain

Do Good